The Summer of Friendship: Summer Reading 2020

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.--Barbara Tuchman

Summer reading is a means to support and enrich reading skills and language development. Just as athletics, performance arts, and other endeavors require year-round physical fitness and skill development, academic fitness requires year-round attention to the practice of reading and the development of a rich background of experiences and knowledge. Reading develops increased comprehension skills and fluency with writing. Reading also improves SAT/ACT scores and chances for success in college. Student responsibility and active participation in one’s own education develop self-awareness and a moral compass. Our reading program allows students to explore classic and contemporary works that enhance their academic and social development on their journey of self-discovery.

During the first full week of classes, all students will be formally assessed on the reading of the novel. This assessment will include character identification, multiple-choice, true-false, and identifying the speaker.

These assessments will be 200 points each and will serve as the first grade for the first quarter.

8TH GRADE PREP:

Novel: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he’s got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darryl and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends – true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on "greasers" like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect – until the night someone else takes things too far.

ALL Grade 9 students will read:

Novel: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Set in the 1930s, John Steinbeck's classic novel depicts the nomadic lives of George Milton and Lennie Small. The two men travel together but are as different as two people can be. George is a small, intelligent man, while Lennie is an incredibly large man with the intellect of a child. Though the two are complete opposites, they are each other’s family. This novel encompasses the thematic ideas of everlasting friendship as well as the unreachable American Dream.

ALL Grade 10 students will read:

Novel: A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, this novel is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

ALL Grade 11 students will read:

Novel: Lord of the Flies by William Golding

At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate. This far from civilization, they can do anything they want. Anything. But as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far removed from reality as the hope of being rescued.

ALL Grade 12 students will read:

Novel: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This novel is the unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant caught in the tragic sweep of history. The Kite Runner transports readers to Afghanistan at a tense and crucial moment of change and destruction. A powerful story of friendship, it is also about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and finally, it is an exploration of the power of fathers over sons – their love, their sacrifices, their lies.